Saturday, December 29, 2012
On the way home, I was contemplating to ask my sister for funds just incase she had extra cash. My younger sister came home from Singapore to celebrate the Holidays with us. Lucky for me, she knows how to save her money. Even luckier, she agreed to lend me the funds I needed and I could still use the camera [but only in Manual settings] during the New Year celebration.
I woke up early this morning and everything felt normal.
We had prior plans to go to Manila and spend the day with Granma and our sister and then go back home along with them but the plan changed. Due to the fact that the places we wanted to go were mostly likely jam-packed with people. We can't go around much with a senior citizen in tow. We moved it this coming sunday and hopefully we can settle on where to go.
During the time they [Mom talking to my Granma on the phone] were still talking, I turned on my PC thinking of squeezing in a few hours of time online before going to Manila.
Suddenly, something went wrong.
The screen got stuck at the "Verifying DMI Pool" screen. A few restarts later, as well as mini heart attacks, it was still the same. I borrowed my older brother's iPad and googled about the issue. It seems that something was wrong with either the software or hardware. I read a few troubleshooting tips and a few articles about the issue but it didn't help.
I was irritated, frustrated and dumb founded as to how it happened. Good thing I posted my problem in a particular facebook group of old friends from a former workplace. I knew that they had enough knowledge to help me out.
While waiting for replies on my post, my older bro also researched on the issue and was trying to help me out. He tried getting me a copy of my operating systems' installer CD as it contained a recovery program. When I read my friends' replies, most of it was the same thing. One of my more tech savvy friends suggested I take out my internal HD and try running it externally on another PC. I could've done that ASAP but I was afraid to find out if ever the HD was the one that's borked or not. My older bro suggested we wait for the CD, so I did.
Before we went about the business of trying to fix my PC, me and my siblings went out a bit and visited the nearby mall. We had my younger brother's PC fitted a new RAM and got a few things and then went home. On the drive home we came across an accident. A military man was face down on the ground, his motorcycle broken near him. A few early responders were at the scene trying to take care of him and talk to him. It seems he was sideswiped by a car [the said car and driver/passengers were still at the scene]. As we drove by, it looked like he was moving a bit and talking. We all hoped he was going to be okay.
I then realized how small my current problem was and how I fretted over something trivial. Sure it was an unfortunate and unexpected occurance BUT it could've been worse.
In the end, we found out that my C drive somehow got corrupted and we had to reformat and reinstall everything. Good thing 80% of my data is in my D drive. So it wasn't a total loss. I just hope that it doesn't happen again.
I can't take these unexpected and unfortunate events.
~ the alansong ~
Monday, December 10, 2012
I was surprised to see Jon and Dan doing a tv mini-series together about the experiences of a young doctor. We all know Daniel Radcliffe from the Harry Potter movies, I haven't really seen his other works though so I thought it might be worth a watch. I also know Jon Hamm via Mad Men but I really didn't follow the series. For me, Jon Hamm's memorable performances in Saturday Night Live [especially his "Sergio!" skit] was absolutely fantastic.
...and who could resist the possibility of seeing this?
A nice thing they did was that the Older Mikhail shows up in the flashback as some sort of spirit guide for his younger self. He can only be seen by his younger self and converses and interacts with him.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Working for my Mom hasn't been that...err...productive. I haven't really given any work as of late. Even i i'm not spending money and such, it would be nice to have some stable flow of income....especially this December.
It's funny how the internet connect people nowadays. You would be having conversations with people you haven't really met yet or talk to people you thought wouldn't get a chance to talk to. The downside of that is, when you get to meet them in person....things get a little awkward.
That's what I am currently experiencing. In my case, an event being held by a group of talented people [Spidersilk] will be having their 1st Anniversary gathering this weekend. I've only attended one of their gatherings along with my girlfriend [who was real-life friends with one of the girls of Spidersilk]. Unfortunately, we haven't gone to the rest of the subsequent gatherings afterwards.
I've known one of the girls from the group albeit only online but I did meet her once during a convention. I doubt I left a lasting impression [trust me when I say that I don't]. But i've been sort of conversing with the Spidersilk founders via Plurk and such, so at least I get to talk to talented people online.
With their coming gathering, I was kind of thinking of going. Sadly, i'll be going alone since my girlfriend is still in Australia. But...I'm afraid that if I go I won't really know anyone per se. I would possibly "know" a few people but only thru the internet and online conversations. It's going to be awkward for me introducing myself to people there. At least if my girlfriend was with me, we can be both awkward together and I can have someone to talk to.
Also if I did get to go, I wonder what i'll be doing there...hahaha...I'm not that talented enough to paint or draw. Geez, this feels like highschool again LOL.
Anyhoo, here is their awesome poster for their event.
Time flew by so fast...well, sort of...and it's now December.
It felt like only yesterday when they were announcing that it was still 90+ days till Christmas.
I'm not sure what kind of Christmas it's going to be like. Sure I won't have much financially to fully splurge on gifts for me and my family but ever since that fiasco that happened at my previous workplace, I have already told myself that it's going to be another pocket-pinching Christmas...at least for me.
It's going to be the first Christmas [hopefully last] me and my girlfriend will spend far apart...literally. Although we didn't spend our first Christmas two years ago together [at least on Christmas eve] since I was on the graveyard shift, we were still able to spend Christmas day together. The Christmas after that, I was lucky enough to get the day-off on Christmas Eve but my girlfriend was spending it with her family in Tarlac. Hopefully next year will be a bit different. :]
I think this coming Christmas will be also the first time the family will be together since my younger sister will be coming home from Singapore and my granma will be coming and staying over. It'll be a full house in a few weeks time, so i'm a bit excited because of it.
Slowly but surely I've been hauling my stuff from Manila to Pampanga whenever me and my bro go there. It's much more convenient with a private vehicle. I haven't really hauled most of my clothes since sometimes i'll be staying over there.
The transition of moving back home has been a bit smooth. It's also sad since most of my current friends are in Manila and most of the friends I know in Pampanga have moved or migrated.
I also can't go to events as much and I also can't go deal with other people hence it seems like my toy-collecting hobby will be on hiatus.
I can still go to shoots though with accordance to schedule and the current financial state i'm in.
With the year ending, I am hoping to hear some good news.
Lord knows I need it.
forward and onward!
~ the alansong ~
Monday, October 22, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
So I picked the thing up checked [it seemed nothing was wrong] and tried to access it but the HD wasn't lighting up and it wasn't detected by the PC. What happened next was frantic and nervous google searches and chats with my friends with regards to external drive troubles. I checked the thing again, made sure nothing was making noise or even moving inside. Then I noticed the usb port plug was a bit...skewed.
I plugged the usb back in, placed a small amount of pressure and the HD lit up and began doing the motions of booting up...or so I thought. Once I let the pressure off, the whole drive turned off and even if I did manage to let the power stay on for a bit, the drive itself wasn't detected by the PC. So I started fidgeting and fidgeting until the usb port plug broke off and fell inside the case.
With that came another round of frantic google searches and chats. Trying to solder the usb port plug back in wasn't possible...at least if I was the one to do it..then again, it would really take the hands of a pro to solder the damn thing on properly to make it to work [I read about this in a forum]. With soldering out of the equation, I resorted to removing the hard drive from the case and try running it via another enclosure and or just directly plug it inside my PC.
A friend let me borrow his own HD enclosure for testing and gave a few advice. The HD was running inside the enclosure and it seemed ok as my friend mentioned but it still wasn't detected by my friend's PC. He then said that his enclosure might be faulty and that it might need a few trues so he let me bring it back home with me. After a few more tries at home, the drive still wasn't detected.
However, I could see it in Disk Management as "not Initialized" and "unallocated". Another friend helped me go through the motions [via my bro's iPad Skype Vid chat] of putting it inside my PC [I am not a very hardware-type of guy] and then trying a few recovery programs to see if I can retrieve anything.
A few days and alot of recovery programs later, I still couldn't get any files from it.I have read from the official Western Digital forums that ALOT of other people has/had/have been experiencing the SAME troubles I have. Then a few admins stated that the data inside the HD are encrypted so it's really going to take some cash to get data back.....that or soldering the usb back on [I am entertaining the idea].
Prior to even trying to recover the files, I have surrendered to the fact that I have already lost everything. I don't care much for the music, videos, games in it. Those things can be easily re-acquired. I am most sad to lose four years worth of pictures from conventions, photo shoots, photo walks, vacations, events and daily life. I am sad to lose the written documents I have there as most of them were unfinished poems, stories and such. All those memories gone [or trapped until I get the drive decrypted]. The folly of not having a back-up of important things, I know now how important it should've been to find the time and made effort in backing-up files.
Nevertheless, people have helped me not think so much about such loss. I guess I can make new memories, take new pictures, write new things. I'm trying to see the positives and the silver linings from what happened...no matter how cliche it seems. I think it's better than dwelling on it and sulking.
~ Sailing forward ~
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
This movie almost coincided with the emergence of "campaign" posters that we are now seeing along our streets, walls and etc.
But that's not why I wanted to watch this. I wanted to watch this movie because of Will Ferrell, as he is my favorite comedian, and because of Zach Galifianakis, as he really shined in the Hangover movies.
The story starts with the re-election campaign of Will Ferrell's character, incumbent Cam Brady. He is set to win [again] because no one wants to run against him. That is until Zach's character, Marty Huggins, puts in his name in the race. Marty seems out of place in the political world but with the help of his Backers and "Campaign manager", he's more than ready to serve his district.
What happens next may or may not be a reflection of what really happens in and behind the scenes of an electoral campaign. It clearly has the political mudslinging but in a more less serious tone.
Will does a good job portraying a man in office. He had alot of practice in SNL, playing Pres. Bush. In fact, in some points of the movie, I think he was channeling his Bush character. Zach also did a good job being the regular joe who is thrust into the limelight. His portrayal of Marty in itself was pretty hilarious.
The movie is not just about politics but it has alot of underlying themes to it. From family issues/drama/values to loving your country to standing up to what you believe in. Amidst all the comedy, there are lessons to be learned. that was pretty nice of them to include.
There also alot of other great actors in very great roles. From SNL Legend Dan Akroyd and the Great John Lithgow to current SNL cast member Jason Sudekis. A few cameos by great actors are included too. Let's not also forget the news anchors and reporters who acted as themselves.
The movie shows us the dark side of politics. How it can manipulate the good men into something they are not. It shows us how some people in power aren't really in control of themselves but are more puppets to something more greater..or sinister. But it also shows us that there is also good in everyone and that they have the chance to do good and be good if they are given the opportunity.
This movie is a great watch and offers a great mixture of serious and comedic tones. It's a breath of fresh air if you've been following Philippine politics as of late. You'll definite laugh out loud and leave the cinema very entertained.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
As most..hopefully at least some..of you know my girlfriend is now currently in Australia studying and as of yesterday working part-time as well [Yay for her! She's been looking for work there for the longest time..].
With that, she will be away for a year...a year and a month at most. We have a few communication lines open to us so that we can talk to each other and see each other while she is away. But I can't say that it hasn't been difficult.
The first week was really hard...I couldn't sleep well and I kept wondering if she was okay over there. the next few weeks went well as I was assured that she was doing fine and that she was having fun at school.
Again, I am not regretting my decision of letting her go over there because I don't think that that's even a decision I could make for her. It's just that I am just missing her...ALOT.
We've been together for more than 2 years now and we've spent almost everyday we could together that we've grown accustomed to each other being close by. Now that she's a bit far away than usual, you cannot fault me for missing her badly.
It's the little things that kill me and make me miss her more.
The way she pinches my tummy and its sides.
When she rests her head on my shoulder.
When she holds my hands.
The way she laughs, the way she smiles.
The way she can brighten my day with a text message no longer than two symbols [which are : and *].
The way she greets me in the morning.
When she pouts.
When she scolds me for not cutting my nails [..which I think I better do in a bit LOL].
When she always reminds me to bring a jacket and umbrella to work.
The way her eyes open up when she sees something cute/something she likes.
How she tries to guess what my surprise to her is.
When we eat together.
When we watch TV/movies together.
Window shopping/Mall walking.
And the list goes on and on actually. It's sad and depressing but it's something we both endure daily. It's one of those things we have to sacrifice in order for us to be prepared for the future.
With her way over there in AU, it makes me realize how she really has made a mark in my life and how lucky I am to have her in it. I'd be completely lost right now if it weren't for her.
But...I must admit that I do get jealous of the other couples that I see, be it strangers or my friends. It's all because of those little things. You can't blame me of course, it's just that I do miss my girlfriend and if you haven't known by now...I am a bit more emotional and sentimental than most people thought I am. Even those little things can get me really affected. Then again, it's the memories of those little things that also makes excited when she comes back home.
Till she comes back, i'll be waiting.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Kwentillion [derived from the words, Kwento meaning Story and Million meaning..uh, Million of course] felt like something I needed to get...so I did.
I haven't really been following any other Philippine comic books other than Pugad Baboy, Beerkada and Life in Progress. It was just only last year that I was really getting immersed into it. My girlfriend was influential in opening those doors for me. Introducing me to the Trese books....it also helpled that I had a few friends that were launching their own indie comic as well.
After going to last year's Komikon, I was starving for more but I really couldn't get my hands on anything [except for copies of SkyWorld]. So seeing Kwentillion was a big bright spot in my day.
The cover sort of has a pop-culture feel..the magnificent cover art is reminiscient of the video game character Edea from Final Fantasy 8. It also states of containing a whopping 100 pages of comics and fiction, so I knew I was in for a ride once I started reading.
Kwentillion begins with a story titled, "The Last Datu" written and drawn by two familiar people, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo of Trese fame. I love the Trese books but I just wish that they deviated from it with this new story. It almost has the same feel. Aswang/Monsters, a female lead, a Father who sacrifices himself..it seems all to familiar. Still it is it's own story and it is still quite enjoyable.
The next story was something that we all prolly thought about when we first played Super Mario. What if we had a Pinoy/Philippine version of him? It we ever did, I'd want it to be "Poso Maximo". A war veteran turned plumber. This story was drawn a bit cartoony but it works. It also didn't have any dialogue but again, it still works. You will still be able to follow and get the story even without it. Poso Maximo is pretty straight forward. It is fun, it has action and it has a pretty light-hearted ending. I wouldn't mind seeing more adventures from him.
The next story actually surprised me as it was not a comic but a short story. Nevertheless, "Spin Man" is a story of it's own. The fact that it can relate to alot of the comic readers out there adds to it's allure.
The next few pages took me back to the real world and made me realize that I was actually reading a magazine. The next pages were full of different interesting articles. From Interviews with Manix Abrera and Chester Ocampo, to book reviews, to an article about Fan Fiction topping it of with 6 color pages of wonderful art along with info on their creators and where to follow them on the world wide web.
Then another story...and it's my favorite one this issue. Entitled "High Society", it started like it will be another one of those stories with a supernatural theme. I was wrong...more or less. While it did have a supernatural theme, it also delved into one of my favorite things...Steam Punk. The story is set during the Spanish times and it featured Philippine Mythological Creatures AND Steam Punk. What is not to like there?
Kwentillion closes with a genre that we really haven't seen much in Philippine Comics...well, at least I haven't. It was Science Fiction...and Sky Gypsies was just like that but with a more Pinoy tone. This story was pretty exceptional and very Pinoy as well [especially on how the Police acted near the last panels LOL].
After that, it's just a How-to-draw a Tikbalang and a chart of Philippine Folklore Magic. Pretty informative I must say.
All in all, the stories were like a breath of fresh air. I like how they had a short summary of the writers and artists prior to starting the stories. At least people might not who wrote/draw their fave story in Kwentillion and that they might be able to stalk them online (LOL). I also liked that they included short stories...written fiction. It actually made me think of submitting a few stories of my own and wishing so hard that it'll get printed. I just wish they had something else at the end of the Magazine..like an introductory Letters to the Editor and such.
Kwentillion is a very awesome find for me and I am lucky to be able to get a copy. It has a few stories that everyone can enjoy...although the written fiction entry might be a little TL:DR or long and boring for some. It was still a very great first issue and hopefully there'll be a second.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Initially, I was of course, surprised at her decision to study abroad. There were many schools that she can enroll in for that locally. But I really didn't argue with her about it. My first worry was about her being so far away. My second was if I can handle her being away for so long.
But I supported her decision. If she had an opportunity to hone her skill in a better school overseas then it was a very good chance for her. She did tell me that if I wanted her to stay that she'll stay. I dunno if she knows [but she prolly did] but I really wanted her to stay really bad. I really wanted to be selfish and tell her not to go...that she can find something that won't cost alot.
I didn't. As mentioned above, I supported her decision...and it killed me everyday. Even moreso when the time for her to go was near.
I am not regretting my decision to her go abroad. I am happy that she was finally there [as of this morning] and is ready to start her journey to become the best she can be. For that, I am extremely proud of her.
Then again, alot of people might ask why I chose to let her go abroad if I really didn't want to in the first place? Why did you choose to let her go if o'll be sad and depressed about it?
I didn't want to be someone that didn't support the dream of someone I love. I don't want her to regret not grasping the opportunity that was given. I would want her to have the chance to chase her dream and if possible, for her to achieve it.
Sure, i'll be sad, miserable and depressed but I know in the end it will be all worth it.
Some people have said that it's just the first few days and that i'll get used to it. But I don't want to get used to my girlfriend being gone. I don't want to get used to the fact that I won't be able to hug her, hold her hand, tell her jokes..and just plain be with her. It sounds a bit masochistic but I want to be sad and miserable and depressed because it fully solidifies the fact that everything is okay when she's around and with me. It makes me realize how wonderful it is to have her around with me.
...but I know it'll be well worth it.
Batten down the hatches! Hoist them sails! We're in for a wild ride!
- the alansong -
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I replied and liked each and every greeting and thanked each and every one as well. It turned out to be a very ok birthday. At least I was able to celebrate it with people I love. At least I was still able to celebrate it.
OH! I almost forgot. What's a birthday without gifts? Unfortunately, I didn't get much. I just treated myself to a new pair of pants, granmum got me two new shirts and my girlfriend "got me" me a very cool perfume. I always wanted to try out wearing a nice perfume.
this smells so good!
To a new adventure o/
- the alansong-
Friday, March 2, 2012
This was my first time celebrating Valentines with someone and moreso with a little messy girl that has a messy kitchen.
Unfortunately, with the both of us working, we couldn't really spend it together. We did spend the weekend before Valentines together and made it our somewhat "unofficial" Valentines date" but that didn't stop me from going out of my way to surprise her on the 14th.
The whole plan was to drop by her office after I get off from work and surprise her with Valentines gifts. It seemed like a good enough plan. I sent her a message through gmail chat on what chocolates she'd want to eat forever. She replied without ever getting a hint that she told me what she will be getting. Pretty cheap and underhanded I'm sure but just so she doesn't think that she'll be wary of my surprise.
The 2nd part of my surprise was the most hardest to get as almost everyone is buying them and their prices skyrocketed. Ut was hard enough to get roses but Yellow [her fave color] ones proved to be the hardest. During my lunch break, I scouted Robinson's Pioneer for that flower stall they had opened a few days ago. Why Rob Pioneer? I work nearby :D.
Anyhoo, the flower place was right there where it was and unsurprisingly, their prices were jacked up high. I checked their wares and planned to return and buy the flowers after work as they would prolly wilt if I bought them then and there and brought them to the office.
The whole plan almost blew up in my face as I got back to that stall after work. I never really imagined that there would be a whole shitload of guys swarming the whole stall.
I tried to find the flowers I picked out a few hours earlier but they were gone. There wasn't anything left in yellow and the others seemed dull. With that, I walked away and just got her the chocolates and went on my way. I was then regretting not buying earlier but then again wondered that if I did, would they have looked as fresh as they were a few hours ago. I just told myself to give her a 2nd surprise a few days after as the whole thing felt empty without a rose.
I was actually a bit late getting to her office. Their dinner break was already over and I was wondering if she'd be able to go down and meet me at the Starbucks Cafe where we regularly meet/go to at the 3rd floor. All my worrying was put aside when I saw a stall selling flowers a few steps after I walked inside their building. Naturally, the good ones have been gone and there weren't any nice yellow ones either. I just picked the biggest and [for me] last great looking rose and had it wrapped. While all that was happening, the girl with the messy kitchen was already waiting for me at Starbucks.
Hurriedly, I went up the escalators-turned-stairs [they were turned off] and trued to wipe off my sweat and compose my self as I was looking for her in Starbucks. It turns out that she was the one surprising me as she came at me from behind.
I gave her her gifts and told her all the mushy stuff someone like me could muster. She seemed very much delighted and happy and that all the effort was worth it.
The day turned out a success..and both parties were particularly happy. I'm glad I was able to pull this off.
- the alansong -
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I happened to get info about these figs just last year. I never really got to seeing them around until the last few days of 2010.
M.A.R.S. Heroes are a group of three kinds of figures, Aliens, MegaBot and Troopers. I managed to get and complete the Aliens. I also got one of the Troopers and didnt get the other two as they really didn't look pleasing to me. The MegaBots are a bit harder to find.
Anyhoo, I don't really know if there's any backstory about these figures but i'm thinking it's kinda like ala-Starcraft type of storyline. Oh you know, 3 races, killing each other?
Let's move on shall we?
These figures are all standing tall around 4 inches, have 13 pieces and interchangeable parts[!]. They all have simple ball joints for articulation. It's not much but it's enough.
M.A.R.S. Heroes: Aliens
First off are the Aliens and the one I would like to call "Big Blue".
Why "Big Blue"? It's not because he's any bigger than any of the others. His blue color just really stand out and he's the only one who wields a melee weapon.
See what I mean? Other than the shoulder-mounted..uh..thing he has. He has got a big "energy" type Axe. It looks simple but effective. His Axe fits both his "claws"/hands well.
As mentioned before, the have 13 pieces/parts that can be easily removed and interchangeable [weapons and shoulder mounts included of course!]. Since they're ball joints and sockets, it's not hard to put them back together.
You can create an abomination like the one above or a more normal creation! It's up to you. Anyway, I like "Big Blue" best. Not only does he remind me of the aliens from Titan AE but he is really menacing with his Energy Axe.
Next is "Agent Orange"...
Why the name? He's so goddamned orange! LOL Aside from his blaster and almost "Predator" inspired shoulder mount, he has the same articulation as the rest.
He doesn't have a melee weapon but he has a very distinct Blaster weapon that fits snugly on both his hands. Why did I say that his Blaster was very "distinct"?
His blaster looks like a Xenomorph from the ALIENS movies. I don't know why it looks like it but for me it's a pretty weird thing to do and have for a weapon.
The last Alien is "The Rookie",
Why name him "The Rookie"? It's because he's GREEN! Get it? Oh..you don't..oh well..
He's the next Alien I like after Big Blue because he dual wields! He's the only Alien fig who has dual blasters and what looks like an actual Rocket shoulder mount.
M.A.R.S. Heroes: Troopers
I managed to get only one of the three Trooper figures. Why? The other two had visible Humanoid heads and it felt like they wouldn't fit in among GI Joe and Marvel Universe figures I have. The one I bought seemed like it was the generic grunt, so let's name him that.
He looks more like a cyborg..maybe even a robot but he's part of the "Trooper" group. He is also the only one who has their helmet on.
Unlike the Aliens, the Troopers do not have Shoulder mounts. They do have two weapons. Unfortunately, their grip is a bit wide and the weapon handles are a bit thin. Hence they can't really hold the weapons well. One is a Blaster handgun while the other seems like a Laser weapon [which he is holding backwards OOPS!]. But I let them hold a few of the GI Joe vintage weapons I had [ones with wide handles] and they pretty much stayed put.
He looks pretty plain but he does offer a ton of customization. If I was any good at customizing, he'd be looking like Master Chief. Maybe do a few retouching or repaints on his helmet to add detail.
Since I didn't get the other two, I just bought three of the same figure instead. A squad of three is better than one [the 3rd fig is still inside its plastic prison though].
Articulation-wise, they're limited a bit but they can be moved and posed just enough for decent action shots. Accessory-wise, they don't have much but what they have is just enough.
These Aliens are good as enemy fodder for GI Joe or Marvel Heroes if you troop build en masse. They can also be the main villains having a single Big Blue [as leader] and army build the rest. The "Grunts" are great army builders for a "Space Marine" type of army versus the Aliens. They can also be evil cyborgs versus GI Joe or Marvel Heroes.
It all boils down to your own perspective and imagination.
I'm still trying to look for any of the MegaBots and will prolly get a few more Grunts and Aliens. They're pretty much a nice addition to any 3.75/4inch collection. So it's a definite buy if you're into a little diversity and into sci-fi/futuristic figures.